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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Global Brigades Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Food, Health, Home Economics, Public Health

Mission: To empower volunteers and under-resourced communities to resolve global health and economic disparities and inspire all involved to collaboratively work towards an equal world.

Results: - More then 40,000 volunteers from North America and Europe participating in global health and development projects in Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua and Ghana - 220,000 annual patients treated with primary medical care - 11,934 pap-smears preventing cervical cancer and supporting womens' health - 22,595 tooth extraction and fillings by licensed dentists -1,562 public health infrastructure projects installed (such as latrines, eco-stoves, and water storage units) -10,254 meters of piped clean water distributed to hundreds of homes - $75,000 in microloans funded and repaid to community-owned cooperatives with 97% repayment rate - More then 200 local jobs created to support health and sustainable development - 3 communities transitioned from having volunteers participate in projects to 100% community-driven with the support of follow-up from on-the ground staff

Target demographics: empower community partners to resolve health and economic disparities

Direct beneficiaries per year: more then 200,000 community members.

Geographic areas served: 180 rural and under resourced communities in Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua and Ghana

Programs: microfinance, public health infrastructure, clean water, and medical/dental services.

Community Stories

10 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Former staff

Rating: 5

Global Brigades is unlike any other organization out there, offering opportunities for young volunteers to get involved to "change the world," while simultaneously supporting thoughtful, grassroots, holistic development in Latin America. What a unique organization to be able to meld these 2 different areas of international development into one seamless blueprint for sustainable development. I would recommend Global Brigades to anyone looking to get involved in international development work.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What better way to learn and give back to communities in need in Honduras, Panama, Ghana, and Nicaragua than to have the opportunity to take the knowledge you have learned in school and apply it to the real world?
I have been on a total of five brigades and, as cliche as this may sound, my world has turned upside down. Having been on five out of the ten initiatives offered within Global Brigades, I was able to see the effect of how the brigades offered lead to sustainable communities and sustainable student leadership all across the United States. As a student who is deeply interested in making a tangible impact and being able to see the end result of a project that is being worked on is what makes this organization a road map to living a life of powerful, meaningful, and inspirational work. The joyful and loving communities that welcome us are a pleasure to work in. The faculty and staff in these countries as well as on the board of directors here in the United States are always looking for ways to make our experiences as empowering and fulfilling as possible. I am looking forward to continuing my leadership as a volunteer within Global Brigades.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a campus chairperson, so I lead my university's chapter of Global Brigades. In other words, I have devoted most, if not all, of my college career to this organization and its success on my campus. I could not have chosen a better organization to work with. I have been on one brigade, an environmental brigade in Panama, and it was a life-changing experience. Working with rural communities, gaining teaching experience, learning about life in lesser developed countries, gaining experience in sustainable development, practicing my Spanish skills, and working to make the world a better place are just a few of the wonderful benefits of GB, and those are just for the volunteers! The point of GB is to empower communities to lead their own development. In this way, the objective is not to come into communities and do everything for them. It is honestly a group effort. Some of my favorite experiences with GB in Panama were working with the Embera people to plant rosewood trees. These trees not only assist in reforestation, but they also help keep their traditions alive. Seeing the people so incredibly happy that you are there and being so incredibly happy to be there, seeing the hard work from both sides, and learning about each other: these are the essentials of Global Brigades. It's all about learning from and helping each other. I am so excited to say that I am going on another brigade this May. I cannot wait!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Amazing organization with dedicated staff, inspiring volunteers, and welcoming communities. A development organization with a true partnership mentality and openness to change in order to improve and grow.

3 Aashni R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a part of GB for 3 years and my experience on Brigades and working with GB staff and advising has been outstanding. The brigades opened my eyes to new communities and experiences. Global Brigades' holistic and sustainable model is extremely effective and this is an organization I am proud to be a part of.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been involved with Global Brigades for the past four years as a student at Saint Louis University. Global Brigades was the one club that I found on the SLU website before starting my first semester that I was very interested in. I became active in the organization during my first semester, and it did not disappoint. I went from not knowing whether I would be accepted to the first brigade that I applied for to now being a very active participant of the SLU GB executive board. My experiences with Global Brigades have definitely been some of the most impactful of my college career. These experiences have taught me that even when I believed that I had no skills or any use to offer that I could still be impactful. They taught me to always be open and learning. The time on my brigade in Ghana led me to create my own program with my University so that I could study abroad in Ghana. I have learned that I have friends and neighbors everywhere including Ghana, Honduras, Panama, and Nicaragua, that even if I have no other use that I have my energy to use, and I took away many skills from the program that I did not have before. I highly recommend this organization to anyone who is searching for an opportunity to make an impact in communities in Ghana, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama as well as anyone who is looking to learn skills and ideas to bring back to their own lives.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I first started volunteering with Global Brigades in spring 2012. Originally I was attracted to the idea of boosting my application for medical school, however, during my first brigade, a medical brigade to Honduras with the University of Oklahoma, I began to notice how many cases of the same diseases we were encountering. During reflection one evening I brought this up, and was thoroughly educated about the Holistic Model for sustainable development Global Brigades uses.
Since then, I've been a firm believer in, and advocate for, the work Global Brigades is doing.
Global Brigades works to empower under-resourced communities, but the students who volunteer their time with Global Brigades, such as myself, return from their time in-country empowered as well. From having an eye opening experience and learning about new cultures, gaining skills and knowledge about a future professional field, or learning about international and sustainable development work by engaging with a community to help them positively improve their lives, Global Brigades helps make a positive change in the world.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was first introduced to Global Brigades as a freshman at Brandeis University. I entered college looking for an outlet to get involved in international development, public health, and learn about health disparities abroad. Global Brigades was an amazing outlet to do so. I have continued to be involved with Global Brigades since then, becoming more involved with the organization each year. I am now the Campus Chairperson for Brandeis University, representing three brigades on my campus.

Through my Campus Chairperson role, I have learned so much about the inner workings of the organization beyond being a volunteer. Global Brigades is dedicated to sustainable development and holistically improving a community for a sustainable transition out of a community. I have seen first hand the impact Global Brigades has on empowering rural communities through participating in both medical and public health brigades in Honduras. Global Brigades also fosters relationships and connections for a lifetime between the community members and the volunteers. We learn from each other, and impact the lives of each other far greater than expected. Global Brigades is a remarkable organization that is committed to improving the health and economic livelihood of individuals living in underserved communities. However, Global Brigades is also inspiring, influencing, and encouraging a generation of students dedicated to international development. I have had the opportunity to see Global Brigades grow not only on my own campus, but on campuses around the country. Global Brigades provides students with the opportunities, leadership abilities, and inspiration to make a difference in their college careers and for the rest of their lives.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Global Brigades has developed an impressive model for community empowerment. This means establishing health and economic committees so that locals have the capacity to manage their own development. They have also geared themselves to ensure all projects are sustainable and have a long term plan for impact. A great and innovative organization for international development!

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was introduced to Global Brigades immediately after entry into university. The university chapter of Global Brigades seemed the perfect combination between gaining hands-on clinical experience (a valuable tool for premed students like myself) and travel (something I always enjoyed since I was young). What started out as a one-week trip to Honduras evolved into a long-term relationship with the organization. Surrounded by peers interested in working to solve the greater, global issues plaguing humanity, my perspective of the world and my place within it changed.

I've participated in six volunteer service trips through Global Brigades already, not just with the medical program, but in several of the development projects well. I've shadowed physicians, build rainwater harvesters, helped with foundation work for a new community health center, shadowed legal professionals, and built sanitary units with latrines and showers. I hope to continue my involvement in the organization in the future as a medical professional. Not only has Global Brigades served as a means to get experience in the clinical setting abroad, the staff and volunteers within the organization have served as a constant source of mentorship and guidance for my evolving career goals.